Hardwood Flooring Frequently Asked Questions...
Don't see an Answer to your Question? Contact us
How do I choose a Hardwood floor species, color and board size that is right for me?
Can I install a Hardwood floor in any room in my home?
What is the difference between an engineered wood floor and a solid wood floor?
Which is better, Prefinished wood floors or Job Site finished wood flooring?
Can I install Hardwood Flooring in high traffic areas?
What is the difference between square-edge and eased-edge Hardwood Flooring?
Which Hardwood Flooring installation method is the best?
Can I sand and refinish a prefinished Hardwood floor?
Which hardwood floors work best with installation over radiant heat?
Will the color of my wood flooring change over time? What can I do about the difference in color under my rug?
What are "natural characteristics"?
Should I expect color variations in my Hardwood flooring?
Will my Hardwood Flooring dent and wear?
Will my dog ruin my wood floor?
Should I expect my wood floor to splinter or chip?
Will my Hardwood floor be perfectly flat?
Protecting and Cleaning your New Hardwood Flooring
Are hardwood floors hard to maintain?
Can I wet-mop my Hardwood flooring?
Can I touch-up scratches and dents?
Should I wax my urethane finished floor?
What can I do if the finish becomes dull?
How do I clean my wood flooring and remove heel marks?
How can I keep furniture from scratching my floor?
What is in a warranty?
Is Hardwood Flooring a Green Enviromentally Friendly Product?
You need to consider the style you're trying to convey in the room:
- If your tastes are more Contemporary you may want to use a narrow 2-1/4" or 3-1/4" wide board in a lighter natural color of the wood.
- If you like a more Traditional look, then you may want to use a 4" or narrower board width with a medium to light color.
- If you are looking for a more Country style, then you may want to use a 5" wide board with a darker to light color with possibly a lot of character such as lighter and darker boards with knots and pin (worm) holes, which has become extremely popular.
- If the flooring is going to be Heavily Trafficked, then we may suggest using a wood species like natural oak that has a lot of graining and or character to diffuse any scratches the floor may encounter.
Decisions seem endless when selecting just the right Hardwood floor for the rooms in your home. There are a variety of wood species, colors and grain patterns to consider. The wood floor area is one of the largest expanses of color or pattern in a room. Your Hardwood flooring should compliment the fabrics, furnishings, and cabinets already present in the space, all while representing your unique personality.
The most popular wood species used in Hardwood flooring is Red Oak Natural or White Oak Natural in either 2-1/4" or 3-1/4" wide boards. However, these days anything goes and a lot more people are choosing exotic wood species such as Brazilian Cherry or Santos Mahogany -- with dark, rich, reddish colors. Bamboo and Cork flooring are also becoming more popular. Darker colors are most often used in formal or traditional interiors, while lighter colors work best in country, casual and contemporary settings.
Hardwood flooring can be installed on any grade in your home. If you're installing below grade (in a basement), or over any concrete slab on any level you'd need to use an engineered floor. Engineered wood floors are manufactured with cross layers of plywood as a stable base, and then a top layer of real wood is placed on top (called a wear layer). Because these engineered wood floors are often more stable than solid wood floors, they can withstand minor moisture level changes better than solid Hardwood flooring can. The solid wood floor could possibly cup and buckle in high moisture prone areas like basements.
The only exception would be in bathrooms. We do not recommend any type of hardwood floor in a full bathroom where water will be splashed or spilled on it. Hardwood or Laminate flooring can work well in half-baths where there is no tub/shower or high humidity. The best option for full baths would be Ceramic Tile or Vinyl flooring.
Although engineered wood floors are more stable in below ground situations, you will still need to use an appropriate underlayment with a moisture blocking pad when installing using a floating method. If you are using a direct glue-down method for installation we recommend applying a coat of MVP (moisture block) over the concrete to block out moisture before putting down the adhesive.
You can find a detailed analysis of these two types of flooring at: All About Solid Wood Floors and All About Engineered Wood Floors.
Solid Hardwood flooring is milled from the log as a solid piece of wood. These boards expand and contract with relative humidity changes within the environment. In extreme relative humidity changes within your home, the solid boards can expand causing cupping and/or buckling of the floor boards. If the home's environment is too dry, the solid boards can contract (shrink), leaving gaps between the floor boards. Solid wood flooring is not recommended for below grade installation and must be nailed down or glued down. We recommend keeping the home's relative humidity level between 40-55%.
In comparison, Engineered Hardwood flooring is manufactured with multiple cross layers of plywood to increase stability with a thinner real wood top layer. This construction counteracts the natural tendency of wood to expand and contract with seasonal changes in temperature and humidity. Engineered wood flooring can be installed in any room in the home, whether on grade, above grade, or below grade. Engineered wood floors are generally nailed or stapled down as well as direct glued. We recommend keeping the home's relative humidity level between 30-60%.
Also becoming more popular, is the Click Loc type of floating method which makes installing an engineered Hardwood Floor very easy for the DIY. Some are manufactured with exclusive snap-together tongue and groove systems, specifically for the floating installation method. Using the floating technique, engineered floors can be installed over a variety of surfaces using an underlayment pad. If a floor can be floated, it will list "float" as an installation method at the top of the collection description.
There are pros and cons when using either solid or engineered floors. Obviously stability is an advantage of using engineered flooring because of the cross layers. A disadvantage is that some engineered flooring styles have a very thin veneer wear layer, which cannot be completely sanded and refinished if ever needed (BR111's 5/16" engineered line). In heavy traffic areas of your house, you might want to consider an engineered floor with a thicker wear layer (Mercier's engineered line).
Purchasing "Quality" Prefinished Wood Flooring allows you the durability of the Newer Factory Applied Only Finishes like “Aluminum Oxide – Ceramic - Titanium.” These particles are mixed with the finish to create a very abrasive and wear resistant finish. Installing a prefinished wood floor eliminates days of waiting for the finish to dry, the dust/odors and sanding machine marks associated with the on-site sanding and finishing of an unfinished wood floor. A prefinished Hardwood floor can be installed in a day where you can move right back in. An unfinished flooring installation may require up to 3-4 days along with staying off the floor for days while the finish dries.
No matter how durable the finish is, grit, stones, and water tracked onto a wood floor can cause premature wearing and scratching of the finish. High heel shoes can indent the wood's surface. To make the floors finish last the longest, we suggest using heavy mats outside all exterior doors with small rugs on the wood flooring at all entrances and in front of sinks and stoves. Regularly vacuum the Hardwood flooring using a soft bristle brush and install felt chair glideson the bottoms of all chairs and furniture. Clean the wood flooring with a Hardwood floor cleaner formulated for that flooring. We do not recommend using any oil soaps, furniture polish, or vinegar and water -- they can damage and dull the finish over time.
Prefinished Hardwood flooring is available in five basic plank edge styles:
Square edge Hardwood flooring has no beveled edges, the top surface edges of each wood plank or wood strip are milled square. The disadvantage of square edges is that if the subfloor is not perfectly flat, or if a particular floorboard has a slight difference in thickness, you may or may not feel the edge of a board when walking on it with stockings or bare feet.
To avoid the these issues, manufacturers offer their prefinished wood flooring with varying degrees of a Bevel edge to eliminate the sharpness of the square edge milling. These bevels and micro bevels allow for minor discrepancies in thickness and ensure a more flat looking finished floor. The smallest bevel available is called a Micron-bevel. Muskoka Prefinished Hardwood flooring is famous for their near perfect milling and their beveling is so tiny that it could almost be considered a square edge. Some consumers feel as though floors with bevels will be harder to clean; however, the smaller micro-micron bevels are too small to trap dirt and other particles.
More details on edge styles can be found in our Plank Edge Styles section.
Which Hardwood Flooring installation method is the best?
There are basically four ways hardwood flooring can be installed depending on how it’s made and where it’s going in your home.
Nail or Staple down Hardwood Flooring installations - This type of installation has been used for centuries and is the traditional way of installing hardwood flooring. Each floor board is nailed or stapled at an angle just above the tongue of the floor board down through to the wood subfloor using a manual or pneumatic flooring nailer or stapler. Flooring that is available for this type of installation would be 5/16 – 3/4 inch thick tongue and grooved hardwood flooring.
Direct glue down Engineered Hardwood Flooring installations – is where each tongue and grooved floor board would be laid into a bed of adhesive that was spread out onto the surface of either a wood subfloor or a concrete slab using a specific sized notched trowel. This type of installation is more complicated by the fact of the boards have to be inserted together in wet adhesive, aligned and kept together as the floor is installed. The adhesive is expensive and it can get messy. Hardwood Flooring that is available for this type of installation would be 1/4 – 3/4 inch thick tongue and grooved engineered hardwood flooring that states it is allowed to be direct glued down by the manufacturer.
Floating (glue together) Engineered Hardwood Flooring installations – has been around for approx 35 years and is installed by applying a bead of glue into the groove of each floor board which is then laid over a foam pad and tapped together using a hammer and tapping block. This method counteracts each board’s ability to expand and contract where the whole floor moves as a unit during seasonal relative humidity changes without the typical separation of individual floor boards. This type of installation is very easy and quick. Hardwood Flooring that is available for this type of installation would be 5/16 – 3/4 thick tongue and grooved hardwood flooring that states it is allowed to be floated by the manufacturer.
Click Loc- Floating Engineered Hardwood Flooring installations – The Click Loc design is a relatively new concept where during the installation you simply either tap the boards together and they lock together OR you lock and fold the boards together. There are several different patents on the market that work very well. Click Loc flooring is very easy to install and is extremely popular with Do it Your-selfers and installers alike. All Click Loc type installations are considered floating floors and should not be direct glued or nailed down. Click Loc flooring is installed over a 1/8 inch foam pad or thicker cork underlayment. Click Loc flooring is an engineered type floor that can be installed throughout your home or in the basement. Hardwood Flooring that is available for this type of Click Loc or Lock and Fold installation would be 5/16 – 3/4 thick tongue and grooved hardwood flooring that states it is allowed to be Click Locked by the manufacturer. The majority of Laminate flooring also have a click Loc design.
Over time there are going to be accidents where unprotected furniture legs are going to be dragged across the surface of the wood flooring causing scratches, heavy items are going to slip out of someone's hands and put dings and dents in the wood floors, and grit and stones are going to be brought into your home and ground into the surface of the wood floor. Every 15 - 30 years on average consumers have their Hardwood Floors completely sanded and refinished new again.
Prefinished engineered wood flooring can be light hand sanded and recoated. If the engineered flooring has a 1.5 or thicker mil wear layer, it may also be professionally machine sanded to clear the old finish and scratches off. Then it can be refinished new again. Most of the high end engineered wood floors can be sanded and refinished at least once, some up to 5 times depending on the thickness of the veneer wear layer and if sanded correctly.
Solid wood flooring can be sanded and refinished new again 4 -7 times depending on the thickness of the solid wood flooring.
Installing wood flooring over a heated surface must be thought out carefully, as the direct heat source can cause the wood flooring to dry out (lose moisture) within its cell structure and the board(s) can contract in size leaving open gaps between floorboards. Excessive heat can also cause cupping, checking and splitting within the boards.
Floating Engineered Hardwood Flooring would be the best choice to use for installations over radiant heat systems. Floating wood floors are the most stable to use because of their 3 to 7 ply cross layer construction and because the floating installation requires the boards to either be clicked together or glued together to themselves and not individually nailed or glued to the subfloor. Because the boards are locked together any expansion or contraction within the whole floor would typically occur around the edge of the floor area where it is hidden by the baseboard or 3/4 round molding. This is very important with radiant heat systems, as fluctuating temperature changes can affect individually installed (nailed or glue down) floor boards wildly. Board separation (shrinkage) or cupping due to a higher in-floor temperature is rare with floating floors.
Other non-floating styles of engineered flooring can also be installed over radiant heat, although it isn't the best option. A direct glue down or nail down installation can cause the floor to be more prone (if a higher than 80 degree surface heat is used) to show gaps between the boards. Some adhesives applied to exposed radiant piping may cause premature degrading of the plastic piping. This can cause difficulty if any repairs are needed later to the heating system.
If a Solid Hardwood Floor is desired to use over radiant heat we would recommend wood flooring that was milled using a quarter sawn cut which is more stable than the common plain sawn cut. White Oak quarter sawn hardwood flooring in particular is one we use/suggest most frequently as the White Oak Species is a more stable and hard wood species. Any gaping between the boards with a quarter sawn floor would be minimized because quarter sawn expands and contracts less and differently than regular plain sawn boards.
IMPORTANT: The temperature of a radiant heat system at the surface of the subfloor should not exceed 80 degrees. If the surface temperature is higher, permanent damage to the finished wood flooring could result and any warranties would be voided by the manufacturer. Some wood flooring manufacturers do not allow their flooring installed over radiant heat systems. Some wood species like Maple, Hickory/Pecan or Brazilian Cherry are less stable, and therefore not recommended to be installed over radiant heat systems. Some of the more stable wood species we have found are American Cherry, White Oak, Santos Mahogany.
Most all Hardwood species will change color to some degree over time -- this is called patina or aging. This is mostly caused by Ultra Violet Rays (sunlight) beaming in on the furniture and bare flooring. Brazilian Cherry and American Cherry are noted for having the most color change and will turn a (very desired) deep rich reddish color as they age and are exposed to light. Their color change is usually the greatest within the first 2 - 3 months.
Any areas of a wood floor that were covered with an area rug or furniture will not darken as quickly as an exposed area of flooring. Once the rug or furniture is moved, these areas will catch up in time to the same shade as the exposed area is. To slow this from happening we recommend using directional mini blinds to direct the sunlight upwards towards the ceiling, and off the furniture and flooring. Doing this will help reduce color changes in both your fabrics and hardwood flooring over time.
Natural characteristics of wood could include small knots, pinholes, or brownish/grey/black mineral streaks with the grain of the wood. These are a result of the growth process of the tree in the forest and are influenced by sunlight, soil, and climate. Flooring is graded based upon the number of these variations. Clear grades have the fewest natural characteristics. Many of the top manufacturers (Mercier, Lauzon, etc.) offer different grades with varying character amounts. Their Rustic grades will show the most character. "Quality" Rustic grades are still manufactured with the highest quality and work really well to add character to any country decor.
Each floor board is like a finger print -- NO two boards are exactly alike. This is what makes wood flooring so appealing! Wood is a natural material, with variations from board to board. Each floor board will accept stain differently, some boards being lighter or darker. The lighter the color used on the floor, (depending on grade of wood chosen) the more prominent the natural characteristics will show. Lighter stains show the most variation. Darker stains have a tendency to mask the natural variations in the wood. The higher or better the grade the less coloration you will see also. For more on grading see Customer Expectations.
With today's technology, hardwood flooring manufacturers are able to strengthen their surface finishes with everything from Aluminum Oxide to Titanium to Ceramic particles mixed with the finishes. Quality manufacturers use 6 to 10 coats of these durable finishes on their flooring. These finishes create a very wear resistant durable surface for normal foot traffic for many years. Regardless of the brand of wood flooring or finish though, all wood flooring can be scratched or indented if something heavy and/or sharp is pushed, dragged, or rolled over its surface. This includes stiletto heels or even a pebble stuck to the bottom of your shoe.
Choosing a harder wood species will help reduce the amount of dents caused by the situations listed above, but no matter what the hardness rating of the wood species is, wood is still susceptible to scratches and dents. Wood is made up of millions of cell structures that were once filled with water, making it harder to crush or dent the tree before it was cut from the forest. Once that tree becomes lumber, and then kiln dried at the mill, the moisture in those cells is dried out leaving hollow cell structures that can compress when something heavy is dropped or rolled on the floor. This is how dents are then left in the surface of the wood.
Dogs that are extremely large and actively run in the house will dig in to get traction, possibly scratching the surface of any wood flooring; however, there are also many dog owners who have hardwood flooring and have no problems with their pets. Often pets do not like the feel of wood flooring under their feet because they have a tendency to slip when they try to run. This usually leads the pet to quickly learn not to run on the hardwood floor. It is important to keep pets' nails trimmed, and to consider limiting their areas. There are companies out there that make dog booties that will protect your hardwood flooring. Also, make sure your pets are house broken. Pet urine is an acid and will damage the natural color of the wood flooring if not cleaned up right away. The acid can also leave a black stain that does not always sand out.
All wood is an imperfect natural product, and the fact that there are hundreds of boards that make up an entire floor means you may (although it is rare) encounter an edge or end of a board that has splintered or checked (split). We would suggest that you examine the boards as you are installing them in order to weed out any boards with these natural attributes prior to them being installed. If you encounter any after the flooring has been installed, you can use the edge of a fine grit sand paper to sand off the splinter and touch up the area with some matching finish. You can also use a matching colored wood filler to fill in chips or small holes in the wood. You can also cut out the defective board and replace it with a new one. We also recommend that you save a carton or two of the flooring for any future repairs. I cannot tell you how many times people have called us asking if that flooring is still made or will it match their older flooring because they took down a wall and need a few boards to patch in.
Any Hardwood Flooring is going to conform to the shape or flatness of the wood subfloor or concrete slab under it. The flatter the wood subfloor or concrete slab is, the smoother and flatter the wood flooring will be. Although we have yet to see a perfectly flat subfloor in all the years we have been in business, you do want to try to make sure that the subfloor has no high or low spots that are more than a 1/4 inch in 6 - 8 feet. To do this, lay a 6 foot wood or steel level (or straight edge) on its edge on the subfloor in several different areas in the room. If you can see more than a 1/4 inch of space anywhere under it, then you may want to try and fill that area up. You can fill the area either using a concrete leveler mix for concrete slabs, or shimming up a plywood subfloor using wooden carpenter shims from below the subfloor (this can be time consuming). For marginal low spots, you might also be able to add several additional layers of the felt paper used as an underlayment paper for nail down flooring to bring the low spot up a bit. For high spots you would have to sand these areas down.
Generally if a subfloor has minimal deflection you will not notice it after the flooring has been installed.
For rooms where the subfloors slope to the other side of the room there is little one can do to correct this except to either pour new concrete over the entire concrete slab and re-level it, or in the case of a wood subfloor jack that side of the house up. Both can be very expensive to do.
Today’s finishes on “Quality” Hardwood Flooring can last many years before the wood flooring would need to be sanded and refinished new again. Like all things your wood flooring must be maintained properly in order to look good for a long time. Hardwood Flooring is one of the easiest types of flooring to take care of, but you should always follow the manufacturer’s directions when cleaning their hardwood flooring. Using an inferior brand or a harsh cleaner could cause damage to the finish. Not abiding by the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations will likely result in the warranty being void.
We recommend Vacuum the Hardwood Flooring at least weekly using a soft bristle brush. When washing the Hardwood Flooring, lightly spritz the floor area using the recommended Hardwood Flooring spray cleaner. Then wipe or mop dry in the same direction as the grain of the Hardwood Floor.
We recommend wiping up any spills as soon as possible. Allowing any liquids to sit and seep into the seams of the wood over time can cause delamination of the wood or finish.
We recommend taking care when moving furniture and using felt chair glides on all your furniture. These glides will protect your hardwood flooring for many years, as well as allow you to easily slide the furniture out on the floor for cleaning.
We recommend Placing good bristle welcome mats at all entrances to collect dirt, grit, and moisture which could get ground into the surface of the hardwood floors finish and damage the hardwood floors. Place scatter rugs in heavy traffic areas or where twisting and turning is frequent, such as in the area by kitchen sink, or at refrigerator, etc.
We recommend using directional blinds on windows since direct sunlight (UV- rays) can fade the fabric on your furniture and cause the hardwood floor finish to change color. Deflect the sunlight upwards onto the ceiling. Some exotic wood flooring may naturally darken over the years.
We recommend maintaining a normal relative humidity level of between 40-60 percent in order to limit expansion and contraction of the hardwood flooring. During drier winter months, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. During the humid summer months, use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to remove excess humidity.
We recommend keeping large dogs' nails trimmed, especially if the pets are very active and run around in the home where they have a natural tendency to dig into the wood's surface to try and get traction.
Never use a beater brush vacuum attachment on your wood flooring as it could damage or mar the finish.
Never use rubber foam back or plastic padding under an area rug as they may discolor the Hardwood floor's finish.
Never wet mop any hardwood or laminate flooring as the water can seep down between the seams of the boards and cause the board's edges to cup upward. This in turn can cause delamination or discoloration of the finish. Using tap water alone can also contain acidic minerals which may leave a film or damage the finish. Never use vinegar and water.
Never use any furniture polish or oil soaps as most contain wax or silicones that will attract dirt and leave a sticky film residue that may be difficult to remove. If you used any of these types of inferior cleaning products and have problems we would recommend calling them for advice on how to remove any film or residue cleaner before using any recommended manufacturers cleaners that we offer here.
Never use any type of Steamer on your Hardwood Flooring as it will damage the wood and possibly cause the finish to peel off.
Fixing scratches in wood flooring: If you should have to fix a scratch in your hardwood flooring, simply light sand the area using 220 grit sand paper to remove the scratch from the wood and rub a little bit of matching stain (if the wood had been stained a color) onto the area. Once the stain has dried apply several coats of a water based finish in the same sheen with an artist's brush.
Hardwood Flooring is one of the easiest types of floor to maintain. We recommend vacuuming regularly using a soft bristle brush, and using the recommended cleaners when needed to restore the shine. We would also recommend using tap-in or self-adhesive chair glides to protect all flooring from becoming scratched by legs of furniture.
Water and wood do not mix. Never wet mop a wood floor -- excessive water can seep between the boards and discolor the wood. Always use the recommended cleaners.
Most hardwood flooring manufacturers offer touch-up kits for their own collections. There are also colored putty fillers available in hardwood stores, which can be color-matched to your wood species and stain color. These products can help mask minor scratches and blemishes.
Never wax the urethane finish on a hardwood floor. It will cause it to become slippery and leave a film which will dull your factory applied finish causing dirt tracked in to stick into the film. Using a wax will also void most finish warranties.
Screening and re-coating is needed when the existing finish has gotten dull from foot traffic. You can lightly sand the Hardwood floor using either a floor buffer with a 220 grit sandpaper type screen or a small hand sander to roughen up the surface of the existing finish. Then recoat the floor with a fresh coat of finish. It is important to know that this method usually does not remove embedded dirt, scratch marks or any dents within the surface of the wood, but it should delay the need for a full sanding and refinishing of the wood floors. There are also fast dry “Refresher coatings” that will temporary make the floors shine. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations pertaining to their flooring.
Wood flooring is easy to maintain, but it does require care. Vacuum the Hardwood floor using a soft bristle brush. Wipe up spills immediately before they dry using a damp cloth or paper towel. Use the recommended cleaning kits specially made to keep hardwood floors clean and let the natural shine come through. Do not use vinegar and water -- it could damage and dull the finish over time. Never wet mop a wood floor -- excessive water can seep between the boards and discolor the wood. Never use oil soaps or furniture polishes -- they can make the floor slippery and/or leave a sticky residue that will track dirt. A trick we have used over the years to remove black heel marks is to lightly rub a large rubber school eraser over the mark.
Furniture legs can scratch and gouge your wood floors very easily. Using felt chair glides under the legs of all furniture will save you from fixing scratches on the floor and will make sliding furniture out for cleaning behind a lot easier. Use glass or plastic cups under all furniture and pianos that have metal or plastic casters. When moving refrigerators or other heavy items over wood flooring move them over two pieces of 4’ x 4’ x 3/8" thick plywood (one sheet at a time). Let the plywood get gouged up not your expensive wood flooring. We do not recommend using scrap carpet for moving heavy items.
Warranties are important, but they should not be the #1 reason to choose a particular floor. More important is that the floor you choose is one that best fits your needs and preferences. Purchasing from a well known manufacturer is also important. Remember that wood floor warranties will only cover what may arise within the guidelines of that particular warranty.
As an Example - Hardwood Flooring Warranties DO NOT COVER - damage to the wood flooring caused by abnormal environmental issues such as higher or lower than normal moisture conditions within the home which causes the wood flooring to buckle, cup or contract in size. They also do not cover improper installation or indentation damage (including from spiked heels), scratching or any damage caused by items being dropped, rolled or dragged on the flooring. Wood Flooring is a product of nature and can contain tiny impurities in product milling/finishing. Warranties do not cover color changes or fading within the floor. This is caused by direct ultra violet light (sunlight) and age. Differences in color between boards are common and are part of nature. Finish Warranties will only be covered if the wear is over 10% of the purchased floor area and only if the flooring was properly maintained.
Reputable Engineered Hardwood Flooring Manufacturers WILL COVER any delamination within any of the ply layers in their engineered wood flooring (which is somewhat a rare occurrence) if this delamination was not due to excess moisture or flooding. Hardwood Flooring manufacturers will also cover any boards (prior to them being installed) that may fall out of that particular hardwood floors grading if the amount exceeds the expected 5% waste factor when one orders flooring.
Bamboo and Cork flooring are not the only Green friendly flooring alternatives. Hardwood flooring harvested in the US and Canada is one of the best renewable materials to use when thinking green flooring. Harvesting lumber today is not like how it was in the old days --- when timber used to be clear cut from our forests leaving large tracks of barren land. In the last 75 years most US manufacturers have stepped up their campaigns to harvest only selected areas of our forests. These manufacturers are replanting more trees than there were 100 years ago. Their continued business depends on these conservation methods.
Hardwood flooring manufacturers have made significant efforts to use every piece of the tree that was harvested; even the bark is recycled as bark mulch or used to heat the mills, saving thousands of gallons of our precious oil. These quality brand name manufacturers and their suppliers are continuously replanting trees, making sure there are enough to be harvested in the future. Manufacturers have to think about 200 years from now. There are still some manufacturers large and small who do not follow ethical standards in the industry and that can give the industry a bad name. Paneltown Flooring promotes wood flooring from only reputable manufacturers who have a solid conservation practice of harvesting timber. Some manufacturers go a step further and belong to the Forest Stewardship council. The FSC sets forth principles, criteria, and standards that span economic, social, and environmental concerns. The FSC standards represent the world’s strongest system for guiding forest management toward sustainable outcomes.
Even reputable Exotic wood flooring manufacturers like IndusParquet that produce Exotic wood flooring, state their wood flooring comes from either plantations or areas designated to be harvested by the government; not clear cut illegally from the rain forests. Large wood flooring manufacturers simply cannot afford to close their eyes to environmental impact.
The benefits of Hardwood Flooring are pure, Green and simple. Wood flooring can last a consumer well over 100 years and has a renewable surface. Wood flooring, if ever disposed of in landfills, is environmentally friendly because it naturally decomposes as it does in forests and becomes a natural base for new trees and plant life to grow.